Gear Storing Tips
Camping Season will soon be upon us. Once again, we will feel the urge to go deep into the outdoors to hike through forests, swim in mountain lakes, and go to sleep at night with a thin layer of nylon fabric between the civilization of our tent and the wilderness outside. The whole situation sounds so idyllic - until we get home again and have to store our gear.
Here are storage tips to keep your gear in tip top shape:
Storage Tip 1:
That's a lot of gear to keep in your home, especially if you are going camping once or twice a year. Get a self storage unit - even if it's small, it will keep all of your gear safe, dry, and out of your way.
Tents: If you put your tent in your storage unit while it's still wet, be prepared to deal with mold, mildew and rot. Once the tent is dry, clean away any dirt or sand. Do the same for the tent stakes and poles.
Sleeping bags: Air out each bag after a camping trip by placing it on a hanger or laying it flat. Try to not hang the sleeping bag in direct sunlight, as UV rays can damage the nylon. Machine-washing your sleeping bag is preferable - but only in a front-loading machine. A good tip for drying your sleeping bag is to place terry-cloth towels and two tennis balls inside the dryer. Once the sleeping bag is dry and repacked inside its sack, remember to stop by your storage facility to remove the bag and shake it out from time to time.
Storage Tip 2:
Periodically moving, checking, and readjusting almost anything in self storage can be beneficial. Any item that rests in a single position without movement, air, or dust removal can be damaged over a period of months or years.
Electronics: Always remove batteries from any flashlights, headlamps, GPS devices, or other electronic equipment before placing the items in storage. Store all batteries in a sealed plastic bag that you keep close to the camping equipment so they are easily found when needed.
Cooking materials: A good cleaning upon returning home rids your gear of stray food drippings and crumbs that could attract insects and bacteria, while the plastic bags ensure no grime or dust infiltrates your cookery. Stackable storage bins or duffle bags are excellent choices to place the items inside - and are easy to grab when you're packing for your trip.
Storage Tip 3:
Some families keep a ready-to-go "camping box" in their storage unit.